Armand Duplantis provided one of the highlights of the FBK Games in Hengelo with another masterclass in the pole vault on a gloriously sunny Sunday (4) afternoon.
Less than 24 hours after ceding the world lead to KC Lightfoot who vaulted a US record of 6.07m in Nashville, Duplantis regained the world lead with a first-time clearance of 6.11m to improve his meeting record from last year by one centimetre.
That was Duplantis’ fourth successive first-time clearance of the competition. The near-unbeatable Swede cleared 5.61m, 5.81m, 5.91m as well as 6.11m without a blemish to his card before three unsuccessful - and on this occasion not particularly close - attempts to improve his world record to 6.23m.
"I would say this result is really close to what I expected today. I know that I am in good shape. I feel good on the runway, the rhythm and timing. We had some trouble with the wind, but I managed to get enough wind to jump 6.11m, so I am really happy about that,” said Duplantis.
Asked about whether he believes he can further improve his world record this summer, Duplantis was much more straightforward in his reply. “Yes, why not?” he said.
Double Dutch delight for Bol and Hassan
Less than 48 hours after winning the 400m hurdles in the Florence Diamond League in a world lead of 52.43, Femke Bol proved she is just as adept without the barriers in her way by winning the 400m in routine fashion in a meeting record of 50.11.
“I am extremely happy with the race, and I was excited to be running here today. The crowd was amazing. The supporters really helped me to go faster, especially in the last hundred metres. It gives an extra boost in the last metres of a race,” said Bol.
And one night after winning the 10,000m in a world lead of 29:37.80, Sifan Hassan came back to the track to win the 1500m.
In her first race at her former specialist distance in almost two years, Hassan demonstrated that her recent win in the London Marathon hadn’t blunted any of her finishing speed, winning in 3:58.12 courtesy of a 60.07 last lap.
“My legs are hurting after yesterday. I have not slept very well and I feel like I have jetlag. The last 200m I have sprinted which is good for me to have some sprinting again after the London Marathon.
“I was scared for the last part of the race, since I have not run a 1500m in two years. I have the limit for the World Championships but I am mainly happy to have confidence in racing fast again. I have not decided which distances I will run in Budapest, so who knows...I am really thankful for today,” said Hassan.
In the long jump, the super-talented 18-year-old Mattia Furlani leapt out to a lifetime best of 8.24m to win the long jump less than a fortnight after jumping a brilliant albeit marginally wind-aided 8.44m in Savona.
Furlani came to prominence last summer by winning a long jump and high jump double at the European Athletics U18 Championships but the Italian - who doesn’t graduate into the senior ranks until 2025 - is focusing on the long jump this year.
Furlani landed his winning jump of 8.24m with his very first jump of the competition which moves him to equal fourth on the European all-time U20 list.